Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused Bitkub, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and four other offenders of their alleged involvement in wash trading.
The individuals will have to pay a fine of over $600,000.
Bitkub Involved in Wash Trading Case?
According to a press release on Tuesday (September 27, 2022), the Thai SEC claimed that two individuals – Mr. Anurak and Mr. Sakon Srakawee – carried out wash trading on the Bitkub platform.
Wash trading, as concerns the crypto industry, is a practice where a trader buys and sells digital assets to themselves, thereby creating a false market activity and also inflating their trading volume.
Meanwhile, the SEC noted that the agency initially decided to apply civil sanctions against the three offenders, but Bitkub and the two individuals reportedly refused to comply with the sanctions and settle the matter. Consequently, the regulator is calling for the prosecution of the offenders in a civil court.
The Thai regulatory watchdog seeks the prohibition of Anurak and Sakon from being a director or holding any executive positions. Also, the offenders should be banned from cryptocurrency trading.
Furthermore, Bitkub and the individuals in the case were ordered to pay 24,161,292 baht (approx. $636,000). The fine will be used to reimburse the SEC’s investigation expenses.
In a separate announcement, the regulator also levied wash trading allegations connected to local digital asset exchange Satang Corporation. According to the SEC, two offenders, LLC Fair Expo and Mikalai Zahorski, reportedly carried out wash trading on Satang.
As in the case of the first three, the SEC stated that LLC Expo Fair and Mikalai did not comply with civil sanctions and would be prosecuted in a civil court. Both offenders were fined 12 million baht ($317,660).
Thailand Keeps Strong Regulatory Grip on Crypto Industry
The latest development comes shortly after the Thai SEC slammed a $235,000 fine against Bitkub’s chief technology officer (CTO), who was accused of allegedly being involved in insider trading.
Recently, the the local regulator called for public comments on its decision to ban local crypto firms from offering lending and staking services as a means to protect traders. Several cryptocurrency lending companies filed for bankruptcy in recent times.